Tag Archives: prayer partners

the whole story for the whole church, the whole time

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This week I was contemplating the prayer partner project and I was reminded of this statement we make:

“We are concerned with the wholeness of each individual and of our community. Because we value the participation of children and youth in the life of our congregation, we believe that it is the privilege and right of each child in the congregation:
1. To be in the midst of the congregation, not on the sidelines;
2. To wander among us during worship, being the responsibility of each of us;
3. To give answers during children’s time without being laughed at;
4. To be called by name by each adult;
5. To be a valued person in the congregation;
6. To be led to faith by the Christlike love, care, and model of each adult;
7. To be an active participant in worship.”

And so I wonder–how do you live out these promises? How is the prayer partner project going for you? What other ways can we pursue the goal of wholeness for each person, no matter their age, and for our community as a whole?

What does it (or might it) mean to think about our task being to engage the whole church in the whole story, all the time?

prayer partner project underway!

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On Sunday morning we handed out the names of 129 young people (from the just-born to the recent college graduate)–129 young people who are part of our congregation’s life in some way!–to be prayed for.  You, the people of RCLPC, have taken on the responsibility of fulfilling your baptismal vows in a concrete way, praying for children, youth, and young adults. We as a congregation have purposefully engaged in living out those baptismal vows, living out our mission statement, in a new way. This is an exciting step and we can’t wait to see what happens as these prayer partnerships blossom.

If you have a name (or a few names), please be praying for that young person and their family.  Feel free to look them up in the church directory and send them a note or a call letting them know you are praying and/or asking for any particular joys or concerns. Perhaps you want to worship together, or serve in mission together, or pray together, or have coffee together, or any other way that seems good to you. This is about deepening vertical relationships, growing in grace, loving one another across generational and cultural divides. This is about building a spiritual community of hope through prayer.

If you didn’t get a name, you can still be praying for the young people of our congregation, for families, or even for the prayer partners (who could use the prayers too!)! You can pray for the spiritual life of our community, for our whole church to be grace filled, to be aware of the movement of God’s Spirit.

Thank you for embarking on this new adventure in prayer. May the spirit move among us, leading and nudging and nurturing and challenging along the way.

church family–facilitating “vertical” relationships

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Our church is working hard on ways to foster community, create connections, and build intergenerational relationships. Recent research has shown that “vertical” (intergenerational) relationships are one of the crucial things a church can provide in a culture that increasingly isolates people by age….and the same research has also shown that children and youth that have these vertical relationships are more likely to continue growing in faith throughout their lives. As a church family we seek to support children, youth, families, parents, and college students as you/they grow in faith and travel their life journey, and also to remember that the older can learn from the younger just as much as the other way around. One way we plan to do this is to create a prayer partner system.

Each year (this year on October 17, the national children’s sabbath) we hope to have a sort of “reverse offering” in which people can take a piece of paper containing the name of a child, youth, or college student in our congregation. People will be invited to pray for that person, and their family, throughout the rest of the school year. They will also be encouraged, if they wish, to contact the person or family for particular prayer requests, to let them know they’re being prayed for, to send care packages, or to invite them to participate in worship or mission together. In this way we hope to build connections across generations, creating a true “family” of the church, where each person has extra grandparents or aunts and uncles or even extra parents—people who pray and encourage and help and love and challenge and serve. We also hope to further our connection to our baptismal vows–that together we will love, nurture, and challenge our young people as they grow in faith.

Each slip of paper in this reverse offering will have, inside, the name of a child, youth, or college student, as well as that person’s parents’ names. On the outside will be the person’s age. Contact information will not be listed, but prayer partners will be encouraged to look up that information in the church directory in order to let people know they are being prayed for, to ask for prayer requests or joys to celebrate, to offer encouragement or invitations or mission opportunities or other relationship building options as the partner feels comfortable. Not every person who takes a name will call regularly, not all will invite their partner to things, but hopefully all will at least let the partners know who they are so they can send particular prayer requests or joys to celebrate. We also encourage prayer partners to sit together in worship and to serve together in mission whenever possible. We don’t plan to administer this “program” in a structured way—it’s up to each partner to pray and to nurture relationship in ways they feel God calling them to.

So in two weeks’ time, you’ll be invited to take a name (or two) and become a prayer partner. We hope that everyone will participate in this important ministry opportunity, as we seek to support and nurture one another, to grow in grace, and to continue to become a family together.